Australian Ghost Stories
AUSSIE COP and the GIANT ABORIGINES
A reddish haze fills the air as the strong wind blows the sand off the dry, barren earth from both sides of the road. I find myself speeding right through the dust cloud, always mindful of a possible slip over the sand. It wouldn’t be fun at all pulling upright a BMW R1150RT police bike in this afternoon heat should I skid and fall. The tiny grains of sand bombard my helmet visor with consistent sizzle, and occasionally, summer flies slap my visor with a splat. In the wind, the sludge of the crushed flies slides off to the edges of my visor, forming networks of wrinkle-like trails. Soon, my visor has collected enough filth of dust, flies, and oil from the exhaust of other vehicles that it has become hard to see through, so I turn into the first adjacent road that comes to sight.
This lane is much cooler and quieter; there are plenty of shrubs and trees lining the sides. I stop and take my helmet off and place it on the wide fuel tank. I pull out my gloves and fan my face with one. My sunnies have to come off too—they can make you feel claustrophobic when worn for too long. The unbearable heat has dried my throat, so I reach into the side box and pull out a water bottle, which is only slightly cooler than the midday air. I imagine the bottle smouldering with ice-cold vapour, and instead of plain, boring water, it is a freezing cold golden beer.
Aaaah, water has never felt this cool before, I think as the colourless liquid flows down my gullet. I splash some on my face and hair as though it is a cologne. Sighing my stress away, I straddle in the silence for a minute and enjoy the short break.
Gosh, it sure is peaceful here. My eyes go to my helmet visor. “Oh, what filth?” I reach for the chamois in the left side box and pour some water on it. The orange cloth sucks the liquid like there is no tomorrow.
One swipe, two swipes, three swipes, four swipes and I hold the helmet up. “Yeah, that’ll do.”
Looking around the isolated lane, I can’t help but feel the need to relax a bit more. No sooner have I started to enjoy the serenity then a faint sound of engine roar catches my ears.
Where the hell is that coming from? I turn my head to the left and right. “Seems to be coming from there,” I mutter.
The burring sound is coming from the far end of the road. I slip my helmet on and let the BMW crawl ahead. The roaring sound becomes louder as the shrubs and trees that shroud the sides of the road clear behind me. Ahead, near a bend, is a raised earth platform.
Another reserved housing estate land, I suppose.
Although I can’t see the source of the sound from the lower road level, a rising cloud of dust makes obvious the sound is coming from the raised ground. I stop by the side of the road, remove my helmet, and place it on the leather seat. The slope is steep and I struggle to clear the two-meter climb. As my hands hook the top edge of the slope, I pull myself up just enough for a peek.
“Hey, what’s goin’ on ‘ere?”
About fifty meters away, an old, black 1953 Chevrolet is going around in circles. I peer to make out if the driver is all right, but the sun’s glare on the Chevy’s windscreen and the red cloud of dust circling the car make it impossible. Nervous, but curious, I pull myself over the slope and stand at the edge of the plateau. I see the whole shebang now, but I cannot rationalise the action.
“Why would he go round in circles like that?” I mouth to myself.
I am in full sight now, and I know the driver can see me. Surely, he will stop and pay a cop some respect. But the Chevy keeps circling on the dry ground, hurling a nebula of dirt in the air. I wave a hand at the crazy car ballet hoping to get the attention of the driver, but I got no response.
The sight is one of madness yet intriguing. I wonder if the driver has been shot dead and his foot remains weighted down on the accelerator pedal, or maybe some hoons are playing around with a stolen car, or maybe this, or maybe that. I force myself to stop assuming and gather the courage to investigate.
The sheer sight of the old Chevy with its solemn grille and its unlit headlights staring stolidly, drive shuddering chills up my spine. But I am a cop, and it is my duty to investigate, so I stand my ground and peer hard into the Chevys windows. Occasionally, when the glass is not reflecting the bright sky, I manage a glimpse of two people with long hair sitting in the front seats.
“Are they sheilas? Mighty big for sheilas.”
Tapping on the side of my waist, I gain some confidence knowing my Smith & Wesson is with me. Putting one foot in front of the other in a very calculated manner, I take steps towards the grinding and circling Chevy.
Only a mere twenty meters have I walked when the Chevy suddenly stops. It faces me with its vertical, chrome grids grinning and gritting at the same time. Its headlights, though unlit, seem to stare like eyes of a living creature burning with fury. I freeze dead on my tracks, my heart pounding fiercely and sweat trailing down my face. As the dust thins, I see the Chevy’s cold, piercing eyes mocking me to approach, but I stand still. No matter how firm I try to be, I shake in trepidation.
“Aw, why did ya ‘ave to be so damn nosy, Terrence? You know you can just turn away and leave this whole croc and be on your merry way home, eh? But noooo, ya havta be a hero, eh?” I hear myself blabber.
The last bit of dust has drifted off to the right and is settling. I see quite clearly the two figures inside the car now. They are not moving. I take a deep breath and find inside me enough courage to yell.
“STEP OUT OF THE CAR, PLEASE!”
The two heads don’t move, not even a twitch. My throat suddenly dries up and my hands begin to waver. In a sudden fit of fear, I feel rage rising inside me.
“STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE NOW!” I screamed out again, but the open space swallows my voice.
The Chevy’s two doors open abruptly in perfect sync. My right hand jumps to my holster and grips the M&P handle. Then, as slow as snails, the two figures step out and stand behind the opened doors with faces as dead as zombies’. The no-hopers are tall fellas, easily seven feet tall. They look exactly alike; twins, perhaps.
Cold fear gnaws at the inside layer of my skin, but I put up a straight face. The last thing I want to show these hoodlums is a wavering, wussy cop.
What are they going to do now? Why are they just standing there? The questions come to mind.
My grip on the Wesson tightens, but I’m not sure if I should pull it out. I don’t want the Abos thinking I’m a threat.
The two giant Aborigines sidestep away from the beat-up Chevy and stand fully exposed. Again, they move in perfect sync.
What is this? A show? An act of some kind? What’s their next move? If they dash forward, I will open fire, I swear. They better not even think about it.
They stand firm, eyeing me, and I, them. Their torn, mud-stained jeans held up by leather belts, dishevel shirts neither tucked in nor out, long and scruffy hair tell me one thing—they are no hopers. They have probably stolen the car and f__king with it just because they feel no one governs them.
“Well, not today boys. Today, you will explain yourselves. There’s a cop here and he’s getting to the bottom of this unacceptable behaviour,” I mutter.
I remind myself I am the authority, but I still feel immense fear creeping up on me—not knowing whom I’m dealing with is unnerving. They hide their faces behind big, mirrored sunnies that blind my eyes. But, the sunnies are special. I have never seen mirrored glasses that shine like them. They vary in their colours—sometimes blue; sometimes red; sometimes a shade of green; and even emit a peculiar sound, a machine-like ringing sound. What makes it strange is that the ringing only happens when I see the glare of the sun in the mirrored lenses. The sound seems to come out from my own ears!
“You are no aliens, are you? Coming down-under and having a thrill with our vehicles. Cant even fucking drive!”
Thinking into the unknown makes me more nervous. I grip my S&W tighter, ready to draw on these two.
“STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE!”
They each take a side step away from the car. They now stand clear from the doors and completely exposed. My fingers tighten around my side arm.
“PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND STEP FORWARD. SLOWLY!”
My voice thunders to hide my fear. But, I’m sure they can tell because their calmness mocks me. They walked, but they don’t raise their hands.
“OKAY, STOP RIGHT THERE, NOW!”
But they don’t stop. They walk on, closer and closer towards me, taunting me to draw my side arm.
“STOP RIGHT THERE AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” I feel my insides jumping out with my scream.
Even though they are not carrying weapons, I feel nervous, and I tremble with every step they take closer towards me. Since they haven’t stopped, I feel no other choice but to draw my weapon, and I do. I point the Smith and Wesson at the giant on the left, then onto the other one.
“Shit, they are identical. They really are twins!” I utter under my breath.
The lanky, dark figures keep coming, unfazed by my gun. Then they do something odd; they part from one another. This makes it hard for me; they have just widened the distance from one target to another. No doubt, a smart strategy to slow me down—should I shoot at one, the other can quickly pull out a weapon before my aim goes round to him.
The sun is burning on my back and my palms are sweating buckets now, strangely though, I feel not heat but chill enveloping my skin.
It gets harder to decide. Do I open fire or not? Just what are these two up to?
Since the mysterious duo do not seem to have firearms, I let them continue to walk apart and encircle me. They are about twenty meters on each side of me, and the three of us are about to form a straight line.
My weapon’s foresight is trailing the Agro on my right, but my eyes are bouncing off the two at all times—I feel like a spectator in a tennis match. It is a tense moment; if one of them does pull out a surprise gun now, I’ll have to spring a step back. That way, his bullet will pass me by and hit his own mate. But am I fast enough?
“What the f__k are you two up to?” The words spew out between my dry lips.
Suddenly, their faces turn away from me and they keep on walking. They are just walking away, as if I don’t matter.
No, no, no, no, I’m a cop here. You don’t just ignore me! You’re gonna show me some respect!
I spin a hundred and eighty degrees.
The air cracks as the round rockets to the sky, but the two towering men don’t even flinch.
Are they deaf? I think.
I fire one more round into the air. Again, no reaction.
What the hell? What do I have to do to get your attention? Shoot you?
They stop right at the edge of the plateau. They are in coordination no matter what they do. Then their heads turn—just the heads—not the bodies. I get ready to shout out ‘Get on the ground!’ but they do something that shoots icy arrows up my spine. Their heads have turned as much as any human’s head can turn, but they don’t stop there, their heads turn some more. Their necks have now wrung a hundred and eighty degrees, but they still do not stop.
JESUS, WHAT THE @##&!
Their heads have turned a complete circle—three hundred and sixty degrees!
These men can’t be humans, I scream in my head.
My knees jellify and hit the ground. My face is numb and my jaw hangs loosely as my vision spirals. With absolute indifference to a nervous gun pointed at their backs, the spindly giants calmly walk down the slope and disappear behind the dirt horizon.
Seeing them gone, I’m able to breathe again. In the midst of the excitement, I had forgotten about the Chevy. My head swings around.
The Chevy is gone!
My stomach tightens, and I feel the acids rising up my oesophagus. My Smith and Wesson drops off my hand, my fists and eyes clench tightly, and I hold my breath to stop my gut from spewing.
Suddenly, it is dark. Had I blacked out? God, how long have I been kneeling here like this?
I’ve not told anyone about this incident for fear of being called a troppo cop. Now, however, I’m retired and there is no need to keep this a secret anymore.
Traffic Cop, Australia.